Friday, October 3, 2014


I'm not here to say that I'm the best player around, I'm far from it - I'm pretty decent, but I make mistakes. I'd bet even raiders in cutting edge progression guilds do, too, just with much less frequency than your average player. I have a lot of practice raiding; I've been doing it for years. 

pictured: absolutely fantastic raiding skills

At the beginning of 5.2, the Throne of Thunder patch, I left my guild at the time because I was putting in far more effort than I was getting out of it. I'm not the best player in the world, but it felt like every night I was baby sitting. It felt more like I was carrying the raid rather than my guild members each exhibiting a relatively equal amount of skill and effort into our progression.

I had become so frustrated with my guild that I ended up taking a break altogether for a significant amount of months. When I came back, I knew I'd have trouble finding a new guild that was at my skill level and convincing them that I was worthwhile to bring when I hadn't done the raid on normal and was geared entirely from the previous tier.

As it was well past the point where plenty of guilds had cleared heroic ToT, I started off looking for a two to three night a week raiding guild that had normal mode cleared and had just started heroic progression. I figured that was probably good enough without being overzealous. I accepted that I'd have a lot of trouble finding a guild that I wouldn't end up using just to get experience on normal and inevitably wanting to leave due to a skill gap. I wasn't a fan of using guilds like that and I want to keep my guild hopping to a minimum. Guild loyalty is the reason I stayed in my previous guild for as long as I did, and I didn't want to just end up in the same exact place that made me quit to begin with.

I applied to a 25m guild that was one boss into heroic. Their application did not leave much room for me to talk myself up as it was predetermined multiple choice answers, but I was able to note my long standing high end progression history as well as references and proof of my two previous, significant guilds. 

I don't know why I was surprised, but I guess I expected to be accepted as an applicant raider. 

excuse me?

The recruitment officer declined me based on my lack of experience and gear, but offered me a place as an associate and said I could go to alt runs to learn the encounters. He said after I got more in touch with this current tier, we could talk about me becoming a raiding applicant.

I accepted the offer as it was the best choice I had so far. I of course made effort to gear up through the venues available to me and I communicated with the appropriate officer about joining their alt runs. When I whispered the officer in charge the night of the alt run, after being told a few days prior by the same officer that there would probably be room for me, they replied:

"We'd prefer to only have people who know what they're doing. Our alts are well geared and we usually clear in one night, we don't really mess around."

excuse me?

I basically alt tabbed and started looking for another guild right then. I knew for a fact I was better than being patronized by someone in a 1/13H guild at a time where multiple guilds on our server had full heroic clears on farm - even if I was considering putting effort into becoming an applicant with them, I definitely wasn't now. The last people I want to be in a guild with are middle of the pack raiders with a superiority complex.

I found a guild that had a full normal clear, but no heroic progression. My application was composed with great care and, completely coincidentally, I had raided with someone who was in that guild who gave me a great reference and some members remembered the guilds I had mentioned being a part of. 

I wrote a lot, as if anyone is surprised

The first boss fight I joined them for as an applicant to their guild was their first Heroic Jin'rhok - a fight I hadn't even completed on normal. I couldn't keep up on the meters without the gear, but I was able to prove my ability to perform as a raider. They gave me the chance I needed - to be able to show a guild that I was worth the downside of having to gear up.

I fully understand not giving someone the benefit of the doubt and allowing them to try out in your guild when you can see no proof other than their word that they are competent. I get it. Why put the effort bringing someone into your already organized, efficient raid group? On the other end of the stick, you end up with people like me who have all the ability and experience necessary to be a raider, but are just behind on gear. I am more than capable of pulling my weight in a high end progression guild - I've been doing it for kinda awhile now. 

I felt it was ignorant of those officers to speak to me as if I had no experience - I have years of experience. Without ever stepping into a particular raid instance, people who are raiders have raiding experience. I hit the ground running when I did my first organized guild raid after taking a months long break, because I do have experience. 

Regardless of practice and exposure, you have crutches like DBM. It's simple to read "Boss ability! Do this!" and react correctly. 

easy to know who to blame if something goes wrong, too

If someone says they have been raiding for years, they are probably more than capable of quickly adjusting to a new boss fight considering the tools available to them. Most people need only read a fight or watch a video before they are capable of performing it correctly, as long as they have the ability to play their class.


I'm not trying to downplay the necessity or benefit of experiencing a fight first hand - practice is how guilds down encounters in the first place. The difference is that a group made up of skilled raiders will need less practice on an encounter before they are able to complete it. How else would it be that some guilds are capable of clearing bosses faster? And I don't mean the race for world first - we all know those guilds collaborate to all be on betas and PTRs together, I just mean the difference between your average stuck-in-normal-mode guild, and the guild that gets into heroic progression maybe a month behind the cutting edge raiders. 

The boss fights are all the same for everyone, and going into the encounter you have the same gear, tools, and resources available as everyone else. That difference is made up by skill, and skill is gained with experience. 

That's why you earn experience in order to level up in traditional RPGs.

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